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Posts posted by coasterer

  1. We did end up going to the park a few days ago, and I have to say I was pretty impressed! It was very clean and generally not dumpy-looking. Skyliner wasn't necessarily smooth, but I thought it rode decently well and was a pretty enjoyable lap. Leap the Dips looked really great. Love the ride's old school station/entrance/stage thing.


    I don't hate their pricing model at all, I thought it was really fair. You have to buy tickets for individual rides (you can't just buy 10 tickets and use them for whatever). For anyone with kids, each ride has a different policy in terms of how old/tall/capable you have to be to ride it alone or what constitutes a qualified "adult chaperone". For us this meant that we thought we could get away with our nephew taking our son on a bunch of things (it's also what we were told at the ticket counter), but this was not always the case and we ended up having to buy a few extra tickets that we didn't plan on. Would have just been easier for one of us to buy a wristband, and really $20 is not a bad deal at the end of the day. Especially considering that it includes mini golf, go karts, and the splash area.


    I thought the place was great and love the small "city park" vibe. Seems like a super enjoyable and affordable afternoon for local families. Will definitely make the trip back when we're in the area and LtD is open again.

  2. I was really excited to finally get to Lakemont this year - but just noticed on rcdb that Leap the Dips is still listed as SBNO, and upon closer inspection on the park's website, Leap the Dips is listed as not open (just for today though). I hadn't heard anything about it not opening and had just assumed this would FOR SURE be the coaster that was open this year with the rebranding.


    Anybody have more information?? We'll probably still go anyways, but I've been trying to ride LtD for like 6 years now and each time it's never worked out.

  3. Loved the report as well! We moved to the Atlanta area almost 4 years ago, and I finally got my Rampage rides too


    It is super worth the trip, isn't it?? What's not to love about big, classic CCIs?! This report just reminded I still need to get out to Idaho, they're some of the last ones I have left - and you might have very well convinced me to make the repeat trip back to Alabama.


    Thanks for writing!

  4. For what it's worth, what has helped me find a good balance was to travel primarily around opportunity (work, cheap flights, visiting friends, etc), appreciating first and foremost the people, places, culture, food, etc. I don't really travel for coasters at all anymore. If I'm in a place and it happens to have a coaster worth riding, I am there with bells on. Most of the last few countries I've been in didn't have coasters worth riding, or they were in parts of the country that were inconvenient for me to get to based around what I was doing or what I wanted to see - so I didn't ride anything. It's an adjustment from maybe 5-8 years ago, but it fits my lifestyle and interests now and I actually get much more out of the world than when I was more into chasing coasters.


    Of the places you mentioned, Scandinavia was my favorite. I studied abroad in Copenhagen and loved the whole region. Summers there are magical. Italy, France, and Spain were all places I super enjoyed in spite of their insane levels of hype (I can get jaded too). Katun (and iSpeed) in Italy are enough to put that at the top of my recommendation list. Just go enjoy Italy and throw in Mirabilandia and Gardaland. I super enjoyed Port Aventura in Spain, (and who doesn't love Spain??) Neighboring Portugal is all the rage right now on travel lists (but I've never been), or throw in Morocco too (which is great!). I love old CCI's, so Parc Asterix is high on my hit list, and I wasn't able to hit it when I was in France, so next time I'm there (if I'm ever there again) that's where I have my sights set. I really really enjoyed the Netherlands as well, and there are some very noteworthy coasters there (Goliath at Walibi is one of my all time favorites). Poland pleasantly surprised me though I was there very briefly and well before the coaster boom, and Germany was very pleasant and convenient (it would make a great place to live, but was less interesting for me as a visitor) and has some big ticket draws. I am not the biggest fan of either the UK or Australia, but obviously to each their own, I can name 10 friends right now that disagree with me.


    For me, if I can find any woodie, any B&M, an RMC, or a major Intamin within striking distance, I'll make the effort and have a great time. But my list of favorite countries is very separate from the countries that contain my favorite coasters. I know you're still looking to travel based around high-quality coasters, but the shift from coasters to people/places really helped me not burn out.

  5. My wife and I brought our 10 month old son to the park today for bring a friend free day (I have a pass, she doesn't, but has been before). It was his first ever amusement park, first ever ride. Rode Monster Mansion, the Antique Cars, and the Carousel. Spent a little time in the wave pool. Ate lunch under Twisted Cyclone (which is just as awesome as Boldikus above^ describes, I completely agree, but we didn't get a ride in today)...


    It was a totally new view of the park for me. I'm entering the wonderful world of amusement park child-rearing, and honestly, we had a wonderful time. It was COMPLETELY different from how I usually enjoy parks these days (alone, 3 hour max, only new or good coasters only). I don't think I've ridden a non-roller coaster in a... I don't remember when honestly.


    But we had a blast and it's a beautiful park that I can't wait to continue exploring with my son from his perspective


    • Like 1
  6. 1) Medusa Steel Coaster - this thing blew me away so much when we rode a few years ago, still in its prime. The pacing was to die for and it handled the layout SO WELL! At the time it was so unassuming, rarely reviewed, and relatively under-hyped. Everything about the experience only added to it - the location, Fright Fest fog, night rides, the crooked house queue... for me it was one of the most memorable, complete ride experiences. But it's just impossible to really measure on a fond memory from years ago.


    1b) Steel Vengeance - It's so hard for me to compare Steel Vengeance and Lightning Rod to Medusa. Hype always leaves me skeptical, and both had such high rave reviews and commanding reputations. My first ride on Steel Vengeance left me impressed. My second ride blew me away. It's borderline too much for me, and I think Medusa in its prime was a smarter layout, but there was no denying SV is just incredible, and over-compensates in every way. It is the most over-the-top ride I can imagine.


    1c) Lightning Rod - iis such a unique ride. It's such a flash, and had SO much hype and baggage, but it is uncompromising, feels full (more full for me than Outlaw Run), and the quad down redeems anything and everything that there could be to knock it for.


    4) Outlaw Run - feels a bit prototype-ish to me, the way NTG now does with SV. But I can understand the appreciation. It's like the Sky Rush of woodies for me. And while the quad down cements Lightning Rod's legitimacy, unfortunately the double barrel undermines it.


    5) Twisted Cyclone - Love the pacing. It's a very unassuming ride while being massively enjoyable. A more complete ride to me than the rest.

    6) Iron Rattler - its uniqueness gives it the edge over some of the more generic rides, but it's a strange and inconsistent layout.

    7) NTG - more comprehensive than Iron Rattler but less unique and special.

    8) Twisted Colossus - super fun, looked great, and my first RMC! But others have passed it by for me now.

    9) Storm Runner - Air time was wonderful, but I hated the uncomfortable ending, and found it on the whole too intense to be fully enjoyable.

    10) Joker - borderline unpleasant. A few good elements couldn't redeem a layout that ultimately didn't work for me. Used to rank it last until...

    11) Goliath - had me totally underwhelmed on recent re-rides. The stall is heaven though. But it just feels like it was designed by a totally different company.

  7. For me, SFOG's ride collection really shines on a good day as it's all pretty understated. They don't have flashy record breakers or a giant giga. A lot of the rides to me are in the better echelon of their respective categories, without being the outright frontrunner.


    What this does on a good day is make you say "oh wow that was way better than I expected. What a 'hidden gem'" in a sense. On a bad day with heavy crowds, bad operations, or just bad luck getting on things, that charm is gone, and the experience pales a little bit, imo.


    I totally agree that Goliath is on the top 5, maybe top 3 for hypers. I rank Behemoth and Mako above it, but when it's running well, I prefer it to most everything else. But I've also had rides on it where I've said "that was not nearly as good as it could be."


    I agree that Georgia Scorcher is the most enjoyable stand up outside of Riddler's, given your preference. I personally loved Riddler's and used to love Mantis and Chang in their heyday. No way does Green Lantern stand up to that now. Georgia Scorcher is never going to top any lists, but it's a pleasant ride with a solid layout.


    Twisted Cyclone is similar for me. It's rather small, understated, and doesn't have the stats, big name, or "destination ride" hype. But it rides like a dream, and pound for pound is one of the most enjoyable RMCs without requiring a "That was somewhere between amazing and a car crash" defensive riding style. It's really hard for me to compare it to the bigger RMCs, but in the mid-range size category, it for sure holds its own.


    "Solid in their own right" is how I'd describe most of the other SFOG coasters. I might just be too young to fully get the Mindbender love, but I can surely appreciate it.


    On a good day, SFOG's line up works really really well.

  8. ^^^^We were there most of the day today, and yes, were told that MF was down all day for maintenance by a guy at the front of the line. It started the day stuck on the lift, but that train was gone after an hour or so I think. Didn't ask details, but he said it was all day and it sounded somewhat routine, but I don't fully know. We were there 10-5:30 and never saw it run.


    I thought Gatekeeper was smooth to the point of boring, my wife thought it was too bouncy/rough, and she sat on the inside. Operations were efficient though. I thought Valravn was almost as underwhelming and forgettable as Gatekeeper :/


    It was our first time on Steel Vengeance too. Our first ride in the morning was great on the verge of amazing... but we re-rode later in the afternoon since the rain had quite cleared out the crowds, and it had significantly warmed up - MIND BLOWING. Unbelievable. I was just blown away, it was nuts. My wife loved it but thought it was borderline too rough, and while I'm not the largest fan of crazy intensity (Skyrush / Storm Chaser / I305), I thought it was at the perfect edge of insane without being overtly uncomfortable. Wowwowwow. The full package, an absolute giant of a ride.

  9. I was there yesterday as well, but in the morning! Had a great time. Sunday mornings are pretty much the only times I go to the park these days. In and out quick before the crowds hit. I got 4 rides in on TC and like it even more than the first time I rode it. It's just a blast. Impossible to not love it, and the praise I heard from others around me was very high. Got a handful of rides in on Goliath, Mindbender, and a round lucky 7 on Batman (I didn't realize it was closed earlier this week, but man I forgot how much I love Batman clones), and I found the atmosphere and operations very pleasant on the whole. TC takes a little time to load, but it's not horrible. Out by 12:15, and had a great time.

  10. Was in the area this morning having taken my wife to the airport, and stopped in for the morning to get my first ride on TC in. It didn't open with the park (we were told around 10:10 that it was experiencing delays). I waited for a half hour but without any sign of it opening, I left and got a few laps in on Goliath (which was running great!) and Georgia Scorcher. I finally saw movement (there had been a train stuck on the hill) and scurried back over. After another 10 minutes or so, by 11:30 ish, they opened the line, and 20 minutes later I was in the back row, next to a budding 14 year old enthusiast who was as eager as a beaver.


    The ride was really fun. Like, reeeeally fun. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's not uncomfortable at all, and while certainly understated, it gave a great, quick, smooth ride that only continued to get faster and more exciting as it went. The first drop was really great, but I looooved the wave turn, it was a blast. And then as others have said, once you hit the turn around, it just starts hauling. I really really enjoyed it, and am thankful it didn't compromise comfort for thrill the way Storm Chaser maybe kind of does. It looks great, the pacing is top notch, and it compliments the park's lineup really well. It holds its own against the other medium-sized RMCs - in my brief estimation, I think I liked it more than Twisted Colossus, Storm Chaser, and Joker, but with only one lap it's hard to say. Only managed the one ride as I had things to do and had to get out of there, but I'm looking forward to riding it again over the course of the summer.

  11. Really terrific report. We were so blown away by SFM a few years ago when we visited! Medusa Steel was absolutely incredible for us, and I'm sorry to hear it's running a little tamer now. Reading your description of moments of no airtime and tame turnarounds was so different from my memories of it! Hopefully it picks back up.


    We also loooooved Superman too though. My wife just adored it.


    And Mexico City as a whole is just amazing. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  12. Love it. I echo the thanks for you three putting it together, and am thrilled to have something more recent to look at to gauge enthusiast opinion.


    Count me in the camp that is thrilled to see Medusa Steel at #1 steel. I looked back at my list and realized I had actually listed it as #1 steel (but behind Voyage). My opinion / memory / nostalgia for it continues to climb. It will be interesting to see what the increase in attention does to it. I don't know if it will hold up to expectation from a more widespread group of riders as much as say El Toro or Outlaw Run or Lightning Rod. I didn't think everyone had as high an opinion of Medusa Steel as I did, so I was a little surprised to see it so high as well. But seriously, what a ride.


    There are so many interesting nuances! I'm actually more surprised to see Maverick at number 2 (I don't remember it ever it being that high in the Mitch Hawker days), and the Intamin triple launch at Hefei penciled in at number 3!!! Helix is higher than I had expected (hadn't ridden it), DC Rivals earns a super eye-catching placement, and I was actually surprised to see Fury rank lower than both MF and I305. I expected it's really vocal fanbase to carry it a little higher.


    Superman at SFNE ranking at #13 is the lowest I can ever remember seeing that coaster on a poll, but that's more in line with where I have it in my list, and Katun and Nemesis are lower than they've traditionally been as well (two of my favorites).


    The wood list is great too. I don't see as many things that stand out, but I was honestly expecting Lightning Rod, Wildfire, or T-Express to come in over El Toro. It's interesting too that there's a fairly significant drop off in win percentage between the first four (El Toro, LR, WF, OR), and number 5. 3 whole percentage points between #4 and #5, when the top four are all within about 1.5% of each other.


    Anyways, I absolutely love these lists and am thankful for you guys for putting in the hard work to make it happen.


    Question: In the future, will my ballot remain in the system and be counted again even if I don't change it? That may help ridership numbers substantially in the long run as people won't have to resubmit a ballot every year to get counted. Those who have been to lesser-travelled parks can enter their opinions once, and then the number of riders will only grow from there, not fluctuate up and down from year to year depending on participation. That would be sweet.

  13. I'm no Pittsburgh expert, but my wife is from near Greensburg-ish, like an hour east of Pittsburgh. Her mom won't even drive to Pittsburgh, let alone leave the state. Everyone she knows goes East to the beach for vacation once a year. Anybody I've ever met who lived in Pittsburgh incessantly talks about how converting Steel Phantom to Phantom's Revenge was the biggest mistake in American history. Her immediate family gives me crap every time I mention another park in PA - "Why wouldn't you just go to Kennywood??" And her best friends from home only recently expressed an interest in making their first ever "weekend trip" to Cedar Point because we've continually brought it up. They'd never heard of anyone going to Eerie, let alone leaving the state for something to do. So I'm not sure I buy the whole overlapping demographic thing either.

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